Aggressively Defending Reckless Driving Passing a Stopped School Bus Charges in Fairfax, Spotsylvania, and Stafford Counties
What is Reckless Driving Passing a Stopped School Bus?
As one of the ten most common forms of reckless driving, a reckless driving approaching a stopped school bus offense involves a driver who fails to stop when approaching a school bus that is taking on or discharging passengers and fails to remain stopped until the bus has started to move again (except when the school bus is stopped on a section of the road that is separated from the lane of travel by a physical barrier or an unpaved area or if a bus is immediately adjacent to a school and the driver is directed to pass the bus), pursuant to § 46.2-859.
In Virginia, reckless driving approaching a stopped school bus offense is a major moving traffic violation and is significantly more serious than a ticket for passing a bus. A conviction of reckless driving will have a negative impact on your driving record for 11 years.
What are the Penalties if Convicted of Reckless Driving Passing a Stopped School Bus in Virginia?
If found guilty of approaching a stopped school bus, penalties can include:
- A minimum of ten (10) days to a maximum of six (6) months license suspension (a restricted license can be issued by the court during the suspension period but does not apply to a commercial license)
- Fines and court costs
- Six (6) demerit points assessed by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles against your driving record
- Dramatic insurance rate increases
- A criminal record for a class I misdemeanor, which can negatively impact employment opportunities and travel outside of the United States
Why Hire an Experienced Traffic Attorney if Charged with Reckless Driving Passing a Stopped School Bus in Virginia?
Hiring an experienced traffic attorney will give you access to a wealth of legal knowledge that can be useful in beating your charges. For example, did you know that simply pleading guilty to quickly resolve your case removes your eligibility for a criminal record expungement of the charge as you must be found not guilty or have the charges withdrawn by Commonwealth (nolle prosequi) to be able to submit a petition for an expungement?
Consequences of a conviction for a traffic violation can be significant. Your insurance coverage, reputation, security clearance, and driving privileges may be negatively affected. You may be facing a few days or more in jail or working on the Sheriff’s Work Force picking up trash alongside the road.
When convicted of a traffic violation in Virginia, the court notifies the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (VA DMV), which does the following:
- Posts the conviction to your driving record
- Assigns demerit points according to the offense which generally remain on your record for two years from date of committing the offense
- Issues an administrative order of suspension, if applicable (even if the court does not)
- Issues an order requiring the successful completion of a driver improvement clinic, if applicable
- Notifies your insurance company if it has been requested (and you had better believe that most insurance companies have requested such information)
If you have been charged with a serious traffic offense such as general reckless driving, reckless driving passing a stopped school bus, or reckless driving by speed, prompt and knowledgeable advice is critical. In defending such offenses, Ms. Fremit explores the legality of the traffic stop and vigorously cross-examines the arresting officer when a trial is involved.
An aggressive and knowledgeable traffic attorney is your best line of defense. If you have been charged with general reckless driving, check out our blogs on traffic charges, successful track record and then call Susan F. Fremit, P.C. at 703-666-9263 or 540-322-2594 to set up a free consultation. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.